A comparative study of lumbar range of movement in healthy athletes and non-athletes

OBJETIVE: To compare the amplitude of trunk flexion and extension through goniometry in athletes and non-athletes, relating these data to popliteal angle and ischiotibial tests. METHODS: The amplitude of trunk flexibility and extension was evaluated in 50 individuals who practiced sports on a regular basis and 50 non-athletes who did not report painful symptomatology nor any symptom that could affect test performance. The measurements were made consecutively by two independent examiners by means of goniometry. The trunk flexibility and extension results were correlated to the popliteal angle and ischiotibial test, and the statistical correlation between them was analyzed. RESULTS: The average values obtained were 130.7 (101.9) for flexion and 40.2 (36.4) for extension. A significant statistical difference between the athletes and non-athletes was found in the following parameters: goniometer in flexion with examiner 1, goniometer in flexion with examiner 2 and ischiotibial test. No significant statistical differences have been found between the groups or in relation to the following parameters: goniometer in extension with examiner 1, goniometer in extension with examiner 2 and popliteal angle. CONCLUSION: Individuals who practice sports present higher values in trunk flexion than non-athletes. The use of goniometry to measure trunk amplitude showed variable measurements between examiners.

Spine; Arthrometry, articular; Athletes

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